Science Camps of America announced that its inaugural summer sleep-away science camp for teens opens in June in Pahala.
Science Camp of America’s mission is to provide fun, intense science experiences to inspire future generations to better understand our universe.
The non-profit organization was founded by Michael Richards of Kaneohe.
“The idea is to get the kids outside and into the field to experience science. Each day we will jump into the vans and head out to learn about our world,” he said “One day we might be examining lava flows, the next we might be helping reforest former ranch land, the next we might be stargazing from Mauna Kea. Being in the field, accompanied by science teachers and scientists, campers will not only absorb a tremendous amount of knowledge, they will also have an idea of what it’s like to be a scientist.”
Dr. Floyd McCoy, the organization’s Director for Education, was raised on the Big Island and is currently Professor of Geology and Oceanography at the University of Hawaii’s Windward campus.
For Dr. McCoy, opening a science camp on the Big Island is a natural.
“When Mike, who has been one of my geology students, asked if I would be interested in helping him start Science Camp, I agreed immediately,” he said. “This is a fantastic and unique opportunity for kids since it gets them outside, hands-on with the science. And the Big Island is just the perfect location for this camp.”
The first science summer camp session, Land and Sea, will be held June 22-July 1. Campers will examine volcanoes, geology, beaches, reefs and the ocean.
The second session, Air and Space, will be held July 1-10. Topics include the atmosphere, weather systems, climate change and the innovative technologies being developed to address our ever changing world. Science Camp will be held on the grounds of Pahala Plantation Cottages.
Science Camps of America is a Hawaii based non-profit corporation, currently awaiting 501(c)3 approval. Science Camps of America is one of only a very few new summer camps opening in the U.S. and is one of only a handful of camps for high school students interested in experiencing science and nature.
A former technology entrepreneur, Richards founded a software business in Hawaii in 1983 and sold it in 2010.
According to Richards, “That opened up a great opportunity for me to start this camp. I love science and I love watching kids learn science. I am so encouraged by the excitement young people show for science and technology. With Science Camp, we hope to help science teachers everywhere deepen that excitement by putting teens in the field to experience great science first-hand. When we send those teens home tanner, taller and totally enthused about science, I can only imagine the great strides they’ll make in their studies.”
McCoy is a Harvard Ph.D. and Fulbright Scholar and currently Professor of Geology and Oceanography at the University of Hawaii’s Windward campus and is one of Hawaii’s most highly regarded scientists/educators and is a veteran of television specials for National Geographic and for the BBC, TLC, NBC, and Discovery channels. McCoy oversees the development of the curriculum and programming for Science Camp.
Science Camps of America chose the Big Island as the location for its first camp for its unique and incredible environment, climate, geology, and people.
Richards added, “The Big Island is perfect. It is a science lab unto itself, with active volcanoes, one of the tallest mountains in the world, home to incredibly sophisticated astronomy facilities and natural energy laboratories, eleven of thirteen global climate zones and a native cultural heritage of discovery and innovation. This thriving scientific community is a great resource. One of the goals stated in the Hawaii County General Plan is to ‘Promote and develop the island of Hawaii into a unique scientific and cultural model.’ I look forward to making Science Camps of America a contributor to that goal.”
Also announced was the availability of the Fred Hendy Memorial Scholarship Fund. This scholarship will be used to allow qualified students from Hawaii to attend one of the camp’s 2013 camp sessions.
Science Camps of America offers a unique opportunity for students whose parents would like to encourage a love of science, a bond with nature and a passion for traveling to amazing places.
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